"The Spoiler": Stephanie Brown is hiding in a warehouse in the old Industrial District, spying on her father, the super-villain known as the Cluemaster. From her vantage point, she can't see who he's talking to, but she tries her
- Dad, Dad... You've gone too far to come back now. You always had to look like the smartest guy in the room...
- — Spoiler
Synopsis for "The Spoiler"
Stephanie Brown is hiding in a warehouse in the old Industrial District, spying on her father, the super-villain known as the Cluemaster. From her vantage point, she can't see who he's talking to, but she tries her best to record the conversation on her phone. Angrily, the stranger grabs Arthur by the wrist and reminds that he promised to kill Stephanie, to prevent her from giving up the details of their plan. She is a loose end that can't afford to be left uncut.
Stephanie recalls her youth, when she had tried to do stunts on her bicycle. Her father had scolded, warning her not to break her arm again. After taking a dangerous jump on her bike, she fell from her seat and broke her arm, as he predicted. Angrily, he insisted that she stop taking such risks, or she'll kill herself.
Arthur promises to take care of it, and his employer promises that either Arthur or Stephanie will die within 24 hours - Arthur's choice which. He then presses a button on his own phone, causing Stephanie's phone to short out, commenting that he doesn't trust Arthur to sweep the place for bugs. With privacy ensured, Arthur reports that Signalman is embedded within Gotham's infrastructure, using the traffic system to cause a gradually worsening gridlock. Ratcatcher is weakening the water system, and preparing to introduce pathogens to the pipes at a moment's notice. The Prankster is causing rolling blackouts in the city, cycling them through the worst neighbourhoods in town and timed to interrupt community events. All of these plans are contributing to creating mass anxiety in the city of Gotham, which will surely lead to rioting in the streets. Hush stops Arthur's report, suggesting that he keep the program going - but his number one priority should be murdering his own daughter before she finds a way to warn Batman.
Elsewhere, Batman arrives at a local art gallery given reports of a disturbance, and discovers that the patrons are being killed by some kind of ghost warning him to save Gotham. Using an Nth Metal infused Batarang, Batman dispels the ghost, but its disappearance seems to cause the death of a man whom he identifies from his ID badge as Dr. Simon Ecks of Arkham Asylum. He has Julia Pennyworth look up any info she can on the doctor and then tries to contact Batwing, who might have some insight of his own. Unfortunately, he receives no reply.
Finally, Stephanie jumps down from her hiding spot, thinking she's alone, but she is mistaken. Her father is waiting with a gas grenade. He explains that he hoped they could have been partners, but that hope has been crushed by her meddling. He tries to explain his motivations for going along with this plan, but she cuts him short by lobbing a wrench at his head, and escaping on his motorcycle. Unfortunately, he recovers and gives chase on another motorcycle, speeding dangerously through the streets of Gotham, and lobbing explosives at his daughter. In order to dodge them, Stephanie recklessly sends her bike into a dangerous jump toward an overpass, as her father is thrown from his own bike, and she is launched into the air, landing successfully on the overpass. Arthur, confused and woozy from his crash, finds himself surrounded by the police, whom Steph called from her phone while driving.
As he is arrested, Arthur warns that he owns the GCPD, and his arresting officer reminds that he is six miles outside of Gotham City. He is under state police jurisdiction. Realizing he's caught, Arthur calls out to his daughter that she is done. He will get to her. Stephanie responds that he is done. She is just getting started.
Appearing in "The Spoiler"
- Spoiler (Stephanie Brown) (Flashback and main story)
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 2.